Meng 1/35 D9R Armored Bulldozer Kit First Look
By Dave Manter
|Date of Review||October 2013||Manufacturer||Meng|
|Subject||D9R Armored Bulldozer||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||SS002||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||100% new tooling, great subject||Cons||None|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$89.95|
In 1954, Caterpillar Tractor Company introduced a brand new D9 bulldozer which was mainly used for removing topsoil, clearing work areas and road construction in mines. The D9 was powered by an in-line 8 cylinder engine. When mounted with a trash rack on the dozer blade, it could push an object with a maximum weight of 74 tons.
During the 1956 Suez Crisis, the IDF Combat Engineers Corps expropriated D9 bulldozers which were used in road construction for the tasks like filling ditches, building fortifications, recovering stuck, overturned or damaged vehicles, clearing landmines and anti-tank obstacles.
During Operation Peace for Galilee in 1982, IDF bulldozer crews suffered severe casualties under the fire of the PLO. Because of this, the IDF was forced to add armor protection to the bulldozer cabs.
Improved D9 bulldozers could remove obstacles under enemy fire and destroy enemy positions by striking, pushing or crushing. It could also clear hazardous articles like landmines and homemade explosives.
The huge D9R bulldozer is called "Dachpor" (Push & Dig in Hebrew) in Israel. It makes a powerful impact with its great operational capability. The IDF engineers give it an interesting name "Doobi" (Teddy Bear).
The US Armed Forces purchased some D9Rs from Israel Aerospace Industries for military operations in Iraq in 2003.
This Meng kit consists of 370 styrene parts molded in tan, 270 styrene parts molded in black, 18 styrene parts molded in clear, 18 styrene parts molded in transparent blue and 17 photo etch detail parts. Each and every part is molded to near perfection. There is no flash present and seam lines are minimal.
The instructions are broken into 39 steps. They are well written and feature some of the best artwork in the business. Markings are provided for 3 vehicles. They are:
- Bulldozer of the United States Marine Corps, Iraq 2004
- Bulldozer of the 603rd Combat Engineers Battalion, Second Lebanon War, July 2006
- Bulldozer of the IDF Combat Engineers School Bahalat"z, August 2008
Some key features of the kit are:
- Movable Ripper assembly
- Full interior details
- Doors and windows can be built open or closed
- Choice of clear glass or tinted glass
- Roof hatch can be built open or closed
- Hydraulic lines provided
- Track links are workable when finished
- Main blade can be raised and lowered
This kit is HUGE! For the size of this kit when finished, the parts count is relatively small. The fit of the main components is superb and I do not believe there will be any problems encountered along the way.
Meng has produced many kits that have provided new and unique subjects for us modelers. My hat is off to them for producing kits that other manufacturers have not. Meng is rapidly becoming one of the main players in the modeling field!
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!